I’m the next Scorcese

I am a multi-talented kid. I am a songwriter, a stand-up comedian, and a renowned Sculpey artist. But two of my greatest hidden talents are my skills as a director and videographer.

You all know I’m a terrible matchmaker and ended up stealing a boy from my friend. Well, Kyle and I were together until the night before high school started when he broke up with me over AIM because his mom wanted him to concentrate on school instead of girls. I’m fairly convinced the real reason was that he hated Disney World and refused to plan our imaginary Disney wedding. But this is all in the past.

Fast forward a couple months and we still have a great deal of mutual friends. He has a new girl (proving my Disney world theory), but it’s okay because I had moved on to older men. We were in the same English class along with all of our friends and our teacher Mrs Hayes assigned a group project. We had to team up and recreate Romeo and Juliet using any medium we preferred.

We ended up with about 12 people in our group for some reason, including Kyle. We decided to make a modern movie version of Romeo & Juliet. We began casting roles and everyone wanted Kyle to be Romeo since he was tall and good-looking. I was pushed to be Juliet because of my acting experience (I was the only freshman cast in the high school’s fall play and one of two freshman girls in the spring musical. I was kind of a rockstar.) However, due to our history, I refused to partner up with Kyle. Another girl played Juliet and I chose to move behind-the-scenes and took on the role of director and videographer.

Our group was a bunch of type-A honor roll kids, so of course the production was a huge deal. We wrote a script, had costumes, set design, and everyone memorized their lines. We got together almost every day for two weeks to work on everything and film. Most of the filming was done around my house and neighborhood since it was close to some of my groupmates homes. We filmed the balcony scene with “Juliet” leaning out of my bedroom window.

The climactic scene of our movie was the lovestruck couple meeting at a bridge and planning to run away together before they are caught and they jump off. This was the last scene we needed to film and we had spent all day on it. There was a little bridge over a stream in the neighborhood next to mine, so we filmed there. We were having a hard time getting it right and everyone was getting antsy.

We finally got the take we needed and wrapped filming. My mom drove down to pick us and our equipment and props up to bring us back to my house for pizza and a screening of our masterpiece. We came in, put everything away, and settled in to watch.

I plugged in the video camera and suddenly noticed something was wrong. Instead of the opening scenes, all I saw was what looked like the inside of a car. I could hear my own voices and my friends’ voices in the background. I tried rewinding and fastforwarding, but couldn’t find anything we had filmed.

I had forgotten to turn the camera off after the last scene and somehow ended up taping over everything we had filmed the last two weeks.

Everyone was absolutely pissed. I nearly broke down into tears, but there was no one else to blame. The group quickly tried to figure out a time for everyone to get together to re-film the entire movie. Someone proposed doing it that weekend, but I was going to be out of town for a dance competition and said I couldn’t make it. No one seemed to care that the girl who had ruined the entire project couldn’t make it, so they decided to get together that weekend anyway.

We had to present our projects in the class the next week and I tried every trick in the book to get my mom to let me stay home. I ran the thermometer under hot water and did as much fake coughing as I could to no avail.

English was last period and I spent the whole day dreading it. I was afraid the video would turn out terribly, we’d get a bad grade, and it’d be all my fault.

It finally came time for class and I purposely sat in the back corner away from the angry glares of my group mates. One of them popped in the video as I turned white from nervousness.

It actually turned out well, almost as good as what we had originally filmed. Our teacher was amazed at how far above and beyond we had gone and immediately rewarded each of us extra credit.

Everyone in the group eventually forgave me, but I was never trusted with a video camera again.

Play pretend

I love Halloween.  And yes, I realize it’s November 4th and I’m a little late.  My town is actually having make-up trick-or-treating today since Snowtober ruined Monday’s festivities.

Dressing up is definitely my favorite part of this holiday.  Ever since I was little, I have loved to play pretend.  My nose was buried in a book for the majority of my childhood and I used to act out the stories.  I once spent an entire week living in my closet and refusing to eat anything but table scraps when I was reading A Little Princess.

There’s something alluring about getting to be someone else.  Even if it’s just for a brief moment in time, you can feel what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.  I think that’s why I fell in love with acting.  It never felt like I was performing, never felt like I was on stage.  I was thinking someone else’s thoughts, saying someone else’s words, feeling someone else’s emotions.

It’s been awhile since I acted, but Halloween is still that chance to revert to my childhood game of pretend.